An Open Letter to Democrats From the Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM)

August 15, 2014

An Open Letter to Democrats From the Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM)

Released August 15, 2014

The Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR) is part of the executive committee of the Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM), the nation’s largest coalition of grassroots immigrant rights groups in 30 states, we write on behalf of immigrant communities across the country to call on you to stand up for bold and immediate administrative action on immigration reform.

Latinos and immigrant communities waged a hard-fought battle for immigration reform legislation only to have their hopes and dreams for the future shattered by Republican extremists.  The debate on the Republican side is now sadly being fueled by an alarming rise on the right of racism and xenophobia.  President Obama has rightly promised to use his legal authority to fix as much of the broken system as is permissible.  Congress has failed, so it is time for administrative action.  

We thank you for your support for legislative reform and now urge you to stand with us as we work to build momentum for administrative relief by immediately expressing your public support for the President to take broad, comprehensive and immediate  action to keep our families together by September.

To those who have suggested that immigrant families should wait for administrative relief until after the midterm elections, we remind you that with every passing day our communities continue to suffer under a broken and dysfunctional immigration system. Every day that passes without administrative relief, thousands of families are separated by an enforcement machine that continues to terrorize our communities.   Latino and immigrant communities have been tirelessly advocating for change, and we have waited long enough.  We refuse to sit idly by while our lives are bounced around the Halls of Congress like political footballs.  This August we will mobilize across the country calling for broad, comprehensive and immediate action from the President and will also hold Republicans accountable for their failure to pass reform for our families. Our movement will not stop until there is relief for the 11 million aspiring Americans yearning to come out of the shadows and into the sun.

To be clear, any attempts by our "allies" in Congress to delay or dilute administrative reforms will be viewed as a betrayal of Latino and immigrant communities with serious and lasting consequences.  These crucial next few weeks will define both the Democratic and Republican parties for the fastest growing electorate in the U.S. for decades to come.  Inaction and delay in the name of perceived political expediency would be both morally outrageous and politically disastrous. We will not forgive and we will not forget those who stand in the way of the relief our families so desperately need.  The President must keep his promise and do his job and our allies in Congress must stand firmly with us.

Sincerely,

The Fair Immigration Reform Movement